Krishna’a Night Songs


Come to the copse behind at night if you can
when I’m the loving ghost playing the flute
to rein in my helplessness or its maddening charge
like a starving tiger in the Sundarbans.
I feel I’m just a barmy one night-fishing
in the Jamuna’s muddy water. If I catch
one fish, and if it slips off my fingers
outside my bamboo-trellised creel, take it for free.
Even if you can’t come, send outright
the message of your having been unable
to sneak out of the door already shut for the night;
and if you can’t, let the next morning’s sun
sear the eyes of my enemy rats at your house
so that they can never see your coming out again.


The bites on your breasts embarrass you
when he feels them underneath his rough fingers
and you always have trouble finding excuses.
As you walk down the land aisles to the copse,
barefoot so no sound except your breasts’ heaving,
you bleed when you step on thorny weeds
and every drop of your blood on each leaf
is the purest ruby. I love your worshiping love
like this, almost like when I welcome
your fear-crippled nipples in between
my sweaty fingers and you grunt out of pleasure.
Something’s burning, I need your body’s heat
to cool it down. Oh, please do come to melt
the freezing hardness of my fears with your kisses.

Photography © Jennifer Matthews T

Sofiul Azam has three poetry collections Impasse (2003), In Love with a Gorgon (2010), Safe under Water (2014) and edited Short Stories of Selim Morshed (2009). His poems are published in Prairie Schooner, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Journal, Orbis, The Cannon’s Mouth, Postcolonial Text, etc. and anthologized in Journeys, Caught in the Net, Poets Against War, Poetry for Charity Volume 2. He is now working on Earth and Windows: New and Selected Poems. He teaches English at Victoria University of Bangladesh, having taught it before at Independent University Bangladesh, Southeast University and Royal University of Dhaka.

Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.